Serious Sandwiches: Lighthouse Harbor Grill's Fried Artichoke Sandwich
I am firm believer in the that if you fry anything, it's an automatic improvement. Fry something and put it in sandwich form, and you've struck gold. Nowhere is that more apparent than an hour or two south of San Francisco, in Monterrey County, the Artichoke Capital of the World, where hundreds of restaurants serve up their version of the fried artichoke sandwich. I can't imagine there's a bad fried artichoke sandwich to be had in the whole county, but my go-to stop is the Lighthouse Harbor Grill, in Moss Landing, right on Route 1.
Their version is served on a ciabatta-like "Francese Roll" from Kelly's French Bakery in Santa Cruz. It's given a nice dose of balsamic vinegar on the bottom slice and is then topped with locally grown artichokes that began the previous night marinating in saltwater and citric acid. After the soak, the artichokes are dipped in a tempura batter with garlic powder and parsley before being deep-fried to a golden brown. The sandwich has the requisite lettuce, tomato, and onion—but the real key is the thick rectangular hunk of feta that rests in the middle.
The salty and sharp feta, with the rich and crisp artichokes, cut by the balsamic vinegar and held together by a soft pillowy ciabatta roll. The perfect roadside sandwich for the Route 1 traveler, and further proof that fried is always better.
Lighthouse Harbor Grill
Address: Route 1 and Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing CA 95039